New warning issued to all UK cat owners that could ruin summer holidays

Veterinary clinics in the UK are experiencing a vaccine shortage. This poses a challenge for cat owners, as British cat boarding businesses require vaccinations before accepting cats. Consequently, owners are unable to go on holiday if they intend to use a boarding cattery. While this issue does not affect those who employ cat sitters, the majority of cat owners in the UK likely opt for boarding catteries due to their affordability. The newspapers are reporting that veterinary practices in the UK with vaccine shortages are prioritising elderly and vulnerable cats for injections.

The image is representational as the vet is administering the vaccine incorrectly!
The image is representational as the vet is administering the vaccine incorrectly!

A boarding cattery owner mentioned that the only exception to the standard vaccinations for cat flu, feline enteritis, and feline leukaemia is if they cannot be given for health reasons. In such cases, cattery administrators will require a titre test from a veterinarian as an alternative proof of immunity.

Veterinarians from a southern clinic have reported an industry-wide shortage of cat vaccines affecting all UK veterinary practices, leading to the prioritization of vaccinations for vulnerable cats based on age, disease risk, exposure, and the urgency of vaccination.

The RSPCA advises cat caregivers who are unable to secure vaccinations for their pets to seek assistance from friends or family, or to consider hiring a cat sitter as an alternative.

Comment: I had never heard of this problem before. The reasons for the shortage according to my research are as follows:

The shortage of certain pet vaccines in the UK has raised concerns among pet owners. According to the British Veterinary Association (BVA), this shortage is attributed to several factors, including an increase in pet ownership during the pandemic. The surge in demand for vaccinations, coupled with practices needing to catch up on vaccines and boosters delayed during lockdown, has contributed to the current situation. Specifically, cat vaccines seem to be affected, leading to temporary delays in availability. However, the BVA reassures pet owners that these short-term delays should not cause concern for either pet or public health.

Additionally, major animal health-care companies such as Zoetis, Boehringer Ingelheim, and MSD Animal Health have confirmed that they are experiencing or expect to experience shortages of certain shots in the UK. Veterinary practices are doing their best to manage the needs of their clients and may need to prioritize vaccine allocations. If your vet anticipates any delays, they will likely communicate with you directly. Rest assured that the situation is being closely monitored, and further updates will be shared as they become available.

If you have a pet in need of vaccination, it’s advisable to stay in touch with your veterinary practice and follow any guidance they provide. Remember that the short-term vaccine shortage is being addressed, and your pet’s health remains a priority.

Source: BVA, news outlets and myself.


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